SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Wednesday on the House’s plans to pass an essential services budget aimed at preventing or minimizing a service shutdown that would disrupt the lives of many middle-class families.
“The number one issue facing the state of Illinois right now is the budget. In the days ahead, I will work to pass a short-term spending plan to see that the lives of struggling and middle-class families are not disrupted.
“In light of the governor’s unwillingness to work with the Legislature to pass a budget that adequately funds important state services, today the House tried to pass an essential services budget to avoid a shutdown of state government. My goal is to avoid a shutdown of core, critical services. I believe that should be the top priority of the governor and the Legislature at this moment.
“Since January, I have said a budget that protects the middle class and vulnerable residents would require a balanced approach that includes spending cuts and revenue. Rejecting a balanced approach in favor of a budget that focuses on cuts alone will negatively impact middle-class families and severely harm the medical care services of the elderly, the disabled and struggling families, services for victims of child abuse, and nursing home care for thousands of frail elderly residents.
“Despite the governor’s lack of cooperation on the budget, in the spirit of compromise, the House has debated several non-budget issues and given each a fair hearing. The property tax freeze, including the governor’s own proposal, received five chances to pass. Each time, the issue received little support from House Republicans. The House passed a compromise bill to help employers save on workers’ compensation costs and we passed a bill to privatize a portion of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity at the governor’s request.
“My focus remains on passing a budget that takes a balanced approach and includes spending reductions and revenue to preserve the services that the people of Illinois expect the state to deliver.”